As of May of this year, Bug and I became the offical guardians of Boo. Because of the pandemic, we did not get to have our day in court, but as no one was contesting the guardianship it went through just fine. So, what does this mean going forward? It means that Bug and I are now “authorized to act as Limited Co-Guardians”. For Boo, this mean we will do the following:
- To establish the place of abode with or without the State.
- To provide for the Responden’ts care, comfort, and mainenance needs.
- To give any necessary consent to enable, or to withold consent for, the necessary medical or other professional care, counsel, treatment, or service.
- To approve or withold approval of any contract, except for necessities, which the Respondent may make or wish to make.
- To exercise superivisory authority over Respondent.
- To apply on behalf of the Respondent for any assistance, services, or benefits available to the Respondent through any unit of government.
What does this mean for Boo? According to the state of Minnesota, he has the right to marry and have a child. Obviously, we don’t see this happening, but he has the right. To my great joy, he also has the right to vote. The lawyer seemed dubious about this request. He said most wards like Boo do not vote. I explained that at the last election I saw a young woman with special needs casting her vote for the first time. I decided then and there that Boo would also get this right. We are a highly political family. Boo listens carefully to our discussions. He has an acute sense of right and wrong. He knows who he likes and who he does not like. This leads me to believe that he should be able to vote. So, I don’t know what the lawyer said to the judge, but my request was granted! Boo will vote in the November election. Mouse is jealous that she is two years too young.
So, I have listed the things a guardian can do for a ward. Are there things a guardian cannot do to a ward? The answer is simply, yes. A guardian cannot admit a ward (with limited exceptions) to a regional treatment center. A guardian cannot have their ward sterilized, submitted to electroshock therapy or experimental treatment of any kind and cannot revoke a health care directive. This seemed like a no brainer to me, but obviously someone must have tried since they were sent along in our guardianship packet.
Guardianship is a lengthy process. I started gathering data back in October and working with a lawyer at the beginning of this year. It is also not an inexpensive process, but the legal team takes care of everything once the guardian has submitted the paperwork. Luckily, we had all the paperwork ready to go before the pandemic hit. In March, all of the court closed down. I don’t even know if they have opened yet, but cases like Boo’s were able to be handled without us coming down to the courthouse. Every year after this I have to submit a report to the court about Boo’s wellbeing and what gains or losses he has made. This will ensure that guardianship continues smoothly.
I am very proud and relieved to be one of Boo’s guardians. He has always been one of the lights of my life, but now I have ensured his safety, happiness, and wellbeing. Welcome to adulthood, big guy! We got guardianship and had a graduation all in the same month. I can only wait to see what adventures this summer brings. Love you always, Mom.